Sunday, 4 November 2012

Asian Belly Pork

 Throughout Asia Belly Pork is a highly revered cut of meat, it is the most popular cut of pork and when cooked correctly is by far the most delicious pork you will ever taste. I first tried Chinese style belly pork in Hong Kong and I have to say that they truly are the masters of cooking belly pork, succulent on the inside and crispy skin that shatters like glass. 
 Seeing huge sides of BBQ style belly pork hanging in the windows of Hong Kong eateries is enough to make anyone hungry. I have called this Asian belly pork because I have used Korean pepper paste for the marinade, it adds great sweetness and a much needed kick. This is one dish my husband will pester me to make over and over again, I fear that his obsession with belly pork has now reached dangerous levels, so I will warn you before you make this dish, it is totally addictive and you will find any excuse to make it.

You will need:
2kg of bone in belly pork, not scored
4 tbsp of honey
2 tsp of chilli oil paste
2 tbsp of korean pepper paste
1/2 tsp of five spice
1 tbsp of kecap Manis (indonesian sweet soy sauce)
2 tbsp of rice wine vinegar
1 tsp of dark soy
2 tsp of freshly crushed Szechuan pepper
1 tablespoon of salt plus one pinch
50g of sliced ginger
500ml water
Firstly dry the meat thoroughly with paper towels and rub the skin with one of the two tablespoons of vinegar, this will help to crisp up the crackling. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sea salt over the skin, not the meat and allow to sit at room temperature for at least an hour, you will notice the salt begins to draw moisture from the skin, occasionally dry the skin with paper towels to soak up any excess moisture.
 In a bowl mix the honey, chilli oil paste, pepper paste, five spice, kecap manis,remaining tablespoon of vinegar, soy, Szechuan pepper and the pinch of salt, mix until fully incorporated and pour into an oven tray so that you can submerge the meat side into the marinade.
  Allow the meat to marinate for at least an hour.Add the water and sliced ginger into the marinade when you have removed the meat just before cooking.
Preheat you oven to 200 degrees and place the belly pork directly onto the oven rack with the tray with the marinade directly beneath it. Roast for 15-20 minutes until the top is browned and then reduce the heat to 170 and cook for a further two hours.
Allow to rest for at least 15 minutes before serving, by this point the marinade will be reduced and sticky which will compliment the belly pork. I love to serve this pork with steamed white rice and my chinese broccoli. 

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